BBC pundit Garth Crooks insists that Antonio Rudiger is “without doubt” the best defender at Chelsea.
Rudiger, 28, has been one of the exceptional individuals in the Blues squad since Thomas Tuchel took charge as manager in January.
The Germany international has made himself a nailed-on starter in Chelsea’s defence, usually occupying the left-sided centre-back position in a back-three.
His game is based around power, speed and aggression.
The £100,000-a-week centre-half scored in his team’s 3-0 win away to Leicester City at the weekend and has become one of Tuchel’s most trusted players.
Crooks, who named Rudiger in his latest Premier League Team of the Week segment, is adamant that the German is the outstanding defender at Stamford Bridge.
“The German is a threat in the opposition penalty area, and his headed goal was an absolute peach. Chelsea also looked impenetrable at the back with Rudiger and Thiago Silva at the heart of their defence,” Crooks said.
“Rudiger is without doubt their best defender. Lose him for any length of time for whatever reason and Chelsea might find themselves in a spot of bother.”
Defensive competition at Chelsea
For Rudiger, he’s done a brilliant job cementing himself in the Blues XI given the sheer competition.
He’s competing alongside quality teammates Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen, Trevoh Chalobah and Cesar Azpilicueta for three centre-back positions.
It’s extremely odd to think that supporters may be comfortable if any combination of those five centre-halves lined up on the pitch together.
However, Rudiger’s presence as the ever-present highlights his importance within the squad.
Rudiger’s situation at Chelsea is starting to look more perilous, with his contract expiring at the end of the season.
It’s now reportedly looking ever more likely that he could end up going at the end of the season and moving elsewhere on a free transfer. Therefore, alarm bells will be ringing for fans due to his value.
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